Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Domaine Pierre and Jerome Coursodon

Last night I enjoyed a 2005 Domaine Coursodon St. Joseph from the Northern Rhone of France with a beouf Dube (beef stew) at Le Lavandou, a Provencal restaurant, in my Cleveland Park neighborhood. Starting in 2006, this wine is labeled "Silice" This past January, I had the good fortune of meeting Pierre Coursodon and his son, Jerome, at the Cote Rotie Marche aux Vins in Ampuis. This annual three day gathering of the wine producers from the region affords trade professionals a convenient opportunity to taste the wines. And the locals have the opportunity to taste and purchase at favorable prices before the juice is exported to the four corners of the world.

The Coursodons are third generation vignerons (vine growers) in the village of Mauves in the southern St. Joseph appellation. Jerome's son, Antoinne, who was born in 2003 is expected to become the 4th generation. Pierre's grandfather ,Gustave, who unfortunately passed away in 2005, was the former mayor of Mauves, and a catalyst in developing St. Joseph into the prominent wine region that is today. As a historical side note, during WWII Gustave's home was occupied by the Germans and was destroyed in August 1944 as the Germans retreated. The occupation, however, never stopped him from tending to his vines.

The Coursodon wines are classic expressions of St. Joseph Northern Rhone Syrah. This bottle was medium bodied showing warm black fruits with a soft touch of chocolate. Restaurant owner, Florence Develliers, called the St. Joseph the perfect match for Daube. On another chilly autumn evening in 2006, I had the Delas St. Joseph with a wild boar and red wine stew at Le Chateau in Tournon, the largest village in St. Joseph. Winter stews and Northern Rhone Syrah warms the heart and the soul, transporting me emotionally to France every time.

The Coursodons produce two higher end reds, St. Joseph Paradis St. Pierre Rouge and La Sensonne. Their whites are highly recommended.

In the photo from left to right are Jerome Cousodon, moi (with the purple teeth), Pierre pouring and Gilles Barge, a superb vigneron in Cote Rotie. I stayed at Gilles' chambre (B&B) during my stay.

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